Attached photo credits: Western Wall Heritage Foundation
The periodic inspection of the stability of the Western Wall stones took place (Tuesday-Wednesday, 2-3 April 2019).
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation does a thorough inspection twice a year – prior to Passover and prior to Rosh Hashanah. The inspection includes the Western Wall stones, Wilson’s Arch covered area, and the wall of the Makhama building. During the inspection, the stone courses of the Western Wall are cleaned; debris brought by birds as well as loose stone particles, etc. are removed. During the recent pre-Passover inspection, a greater than normal amount of stone and plaster particles were removed from between the stones.
The lower section of the Western Wall, which is composed of the Wall’s original stones, suffers from corrosion. This year, many “husks” were removed. In order to solve this, the preservation experts soak the peeling stone in binding materials based on natural lime (the stone’s consolidation). This strengthens the layers and stops the peeling. This was done under the supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority. Halachic (Jewish law) restrictions were strictly adhered to and the halachic permission was given by the Chief Rabbis of Israel and other rabbinical religious authorities.
In addition, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation is preparing for the traditional pre-Passover note-removal process that will take place on Wednesday, 5 Nissan (10 April) at 10:00, during which notes will be removed from between the walls and treated as sacred objects.